Boeing 737-800 Bound for Ukraine Crashes Shortly after Take-Off in Iran, Killing All Onboard
A Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after take-off from Imam Khomeini international airport in Tehran at 6.12am Tehran time due to "technical issues," according to Iranian semi-state run media outlet ISNA. Everybody onboard Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, at least 176 people, are reported to have died.
Iran is in the news after they launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at an Iraqi military base housing US troops several hours before the crash in response to the US operation that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last week. Solemani was the commander in charge of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force and was widely considered as the second most powerful figure in the Islamic republic after the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Boeing continues its unlucky streak after a year of bad publicity with the two crashes of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft and the plane's subsequent grounding in March 2019, which has yet to be lifted with no date set for its return to service. The 737 MAX 8 is Boeing's best selling airplane, but according to The Guardian, the model that crashed was a Boeing 737-800, an earlier model aircraft.
Update: Unconfirmed reports from El Hadath indicate that the Ukrainian-bound aircraft could have been hit by an Iranian missile.
#إيران — أنباء عن سقوط الطائرة الأوكرانية نتيجة إصابتها بصاروخ إيراني عن طريق الخطأ— الحدث (@AlHadath) January 8, 2020
Boeing also released a statement this evening about the crash on Twitter.
We are aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information.— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) January 8, 2020
ISNA posted a video to Twitter that claimed to show the Boeing aircraft on fire as it crashed.
نخستین ویدئو از سقوط هواپیمای اوکراینی اطراف شهریار pic.twitter.com/M3bZiLLryQ— خبرگزاری ایسنا (@isna_farsi) January 8, 2020
Update 2: The US Department of Defense believes that the plane may have been accidentally shot down by a Russian-made Iranian air defense system, according to the New York Times.
Update 3: The New York Times says it has obtained video of the Ukrainian airliner being hit by a surface-to-air missile moments before it went down during take-off.